GPS Coordinates: 45°9’58.61″S 71°53’3.61″W
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General Travel Information
This tackle and equipment planner is a guideline to help anglers assemble a reasonable collection of flies and necessary equipment. You are by no means required to purchase all of this equipment, but do make sure you have a good cross-section. It is generally true that properly outfitted and prepared anglers have the best chance of having a trip of a lifetime.
Although selling fly fishing tackle and flies is part of what The Fly Shop® does, it is not our main concern. Our biggest priority is that people have a great trip. That being said, we feel there is no-one better suited to outfit you for your trip. It is a trip we’ve taken dozens of times. We know what works, but more importantly, we know what works best. We’d love to have your business if you need to purchase new equipment.
One thing we’ve all learned from years of fishing in Patagonia, and the word that we as anglers must always keep in the back of our minds, is “ADAPT.” It is almost impossible to tell what kind of lines and flies are going to be most successful on the river at a given time. Conditions can change without warning and we must be able to adapt to the conditions at hand. Thus, you’ll want to bring a wide selection of fly tackle and enough different types of flies to meet conditions.
Guides will often have a fly on hand in case you don’t have the right one in your box for the situation, but we cannot guarantee this, as equipment is not included in your trip, nor is it available for purchase at the lodge. Therefore, you’ll want to come prepared with everything you’ll need.
Preparing for Your Trip:
To take advantage of your fishing excursion in South America, or for that matter any fishing holiday you are embarking on, we highly recommend some pre-trip brushing up on your angling techniques and casting. You don’t need water to practice your fly casting (except when roll-casting), any lawn will do. It is a good idea to spend several hours in the back yard, local schoolyard, or elsewhere practicing your fly-casting. If you feel your skills are lacking or need some refreshing, you should consider some professional instruction to help you hone your techniques. Having a solid grasp of the “double-haul” casting technique can be invaluable when encountering windy conditions that are not uncommon in Patagonia. El Saltamontes guides are excellent instructors and can also assist, but having a solid foundation of casting knowledge, skills, techniques as well as fly presentation, can go a long way towards making your fishing experience truly successful and more enjoyable.
A valid passport with at least 6 months of validity is required for entry into Chile.
El Saltamontes (lodge direct dialed from the U.S.)
- There is now Starlink internet service at the lodge, so people are welcome to check their e-mail at any time during their stay – just bring your electronic device to the main lodge facility.
- Jose Gorrono’s personal cell phone (dialed from the U.S.) 011-56-998-953-666 or within Chile – to reach Jose at the ranch or wherever he may be, if needed.
- Jose Gorrono E-mail: email@example.com
- Can book your air and any additional hotel rooms you may request.
- Embassy hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
For U.S. citizens solely inquiring about passport, citizenship and other consular services not related to visa matters, please E-mail at SantiagoAmCit@state.gov
Multi-piece, 5 or 6 weight fly rods will cover all of the fishing situations you’ll encounter in this part of Chile. We strongly recommend a multi-piece travel rod (3, 4 or 5 piece). Top-quality rods you might consider are: Winston, Sage or Scott series of travel rod (4 piece). For great value options, The Fly Shop’s Signature H2O series are an excellent choice and comes with an extra tip.
Good quality, lightweight fly reels, with simple disk drags or pawl drags, are the best choice. Reels should be filled with fresh 20-pound backing. Reel models to consider might include: Ross, The Fly Shop’s L2A, Galvan, Hatch, Abel, or Hardy. 75 – 125 yards of backing is more than adequate.
Most experienced El Saltamontes anglers feel the only line necessary is a floating line for all the river situations, although a sinking tip line may be useful when throwing streamers. Color of the line doesn’t seem to be important. However, a weight-forward configuration will help transfer the power necessary to turn over bushy grasshoppers and other surface creatures we use. A (10’ -15′ depending on line size) sink tip fly line, Type lll sink rate, can come in handy when fishing streamers.
Leaders & Tippet:
For a week’s fishing, you will need no less than three tapered leaders – 9 ft. (3X) for your floating line. For tippet, bring fresh spools of (5X), (4X), (3X) and (2X). We highly recommend mono leader, as it floats a bit, and almost all your fishing is with dries. Rio, Scientific Anglers and Trout Hunter makes some of the best mono tippet and leader material available.
Flies for El Saltamontes
Remember, the name of this lodge is El Saltamontes (The Grasshopper). When you walk the banks and meadows near the Nireguao, you’ll often raise a literal cloud of hoppers. The fish are keyed to the hoppers or anything that floats and looks buggy. They are like a magnet, keeping the many resident fish there and attracting more and more fish from the lower river habitat as the season progresses. Each angler should have about 3 dozen terrestrial patterns, a half dozen assorted streamers, some assorted dry flies, and maybe a couple each of dragonfly and mouse patterns. 48 flies should be just about right for the week. Guides normally have a very limited selection on hand in case you don’t have the right fly for the situation. But flies are NOT available for sale at the lodges. We sell a hand-picked selection designed just for the time of year you’ll be there – ask us for details.
We also offer an easy way to know you have the correct flies for your trip. We offer a Chile Trout Selection that can be customized for your specific dates during your visit to El Saltamontes. This selection comes with a great assortment of the below flies loaded into the perfect fly box.
The weather in Patagonia is constantly changing. One afternoon it may be 70°+ and sunny, downright hot; then only a few hours later it may be rainy, damp, windy and in the low 50°s or cooler. It is not uncommon to have morning temperatures in the mid to low thirties, especially when clear weather prevails, warming to a balmy 50° or 60° degrees by the end of the day. Clothing strategies should be based on the “layering system.” By using the “layering system,” anglers can adapt to whatever Mother Nature dishes out. The whole idea behind layering is to trap heated air (generated by your body and stored between the different layers of insulation), thus keeping you warm.
Here is the formula preferred by the staff at The Fly Shop®:
Start off with a synthetic fabric next to your skin. This often is a pair of thermal underwear (tops and bottoms) and they usually come in three weights: light, mid and expedition or heavy. According to your individual metabolism, pick what is best for you. Synthetic (non-cotton) materials retain little moisture and “wick” moisture away from your skin. This is very important when you are walking in waders or when outside temperatures heat up. 1 set of midweight Simms or Patagonia (tops and bottoms).
Your second layer of insulation should match the weather and conditions you are going to be fishing in. Lightweight insulation for cool weather, mid-weight for colder conditions and heavy weight for really frigid days. Fleece is an outstanding choice here in either tops and bottoms or overalls. Merino Wool is also a good choice as it stays warm when damp, though dries very slowly. 1 set fleece pants – Simms or Patagonia. 1 Fleece jacket – Simms or Patagonia.
The final layer on your upper body should be a rain jacket. High quality Gore-Tex type products are the best. Your rain jacket should be 100% waterproof and breathable, multi-layered, with sealed seams. Buy the best rain jacket you can afford, as it is one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. The Simms, Skwala, and Patagonia are high quality jackets designed specifically for fly fishermen.
Stocking foot, breathable chest waders are the only way to go. You will experience little or no moisture build-up inside the waders, even after a long hike; they wear like iron, pack down very well, and are comfortable to be in all day. For safety we strongly recommend wearing a wading belt at all times. The Simms, Skwala and Patagonia makes a product that is equally durable and comfortable.
For a week’s fishing trip, three pairs of heavy socks will be adequate. Wool, polypro or a combination of both are the best choices in sock material. Try on your socks with your waders and wading boots before you go to insure you have plenty of room to move your toes. Being unable to move your toes and cramping your feet in your wading boots are the biggest reasons for numb toes and cold feet. Simms and Patagonia synthetic and Smartwool are the way to go.
Wading at El Saltamontes is very easy and rubber soled boots are highly recommended to prevent spreading invasive species. Patagonia, Simms, and Korkers – there are lots of good brands. Metal studs are fine to put into the shoe soles, though are seldom needed.
If you use a staff at home, bring it along. They can be handy, particularly the collapsible models. While Patagonian rivers are considered easy to moderate wading, there will always be a fish that likes to hang out in swifter, deeper water, tempting you into position.
Fingerless insulating gloves are rarely needed, but great for the occasional cold days. We have had the best success with synthetic or wool gloves, rather than neoprene which retain water. Simms fleece Half-finger Gloves are perfect. Sungloves can also be wonderful to wear on hot sunny days, to protect your hands from the intense UV in Patagonia.
Fishing Vest/Tackle Pack:
For vests we like a high quality product, in a shorty model. Choose one that has room for a rain jacket or camera in the back. Simms, Fishpond and Patagonia make excellent vests. If you prefer a tackle pack, take a good look at Fishpond and Patagonia products.
Day Pack/Boat Bags:
These hold extra gear, clothes, flies, camera, snacks, etc., and keep them safe and dry during floats and boat rides. The Fly Shop® recommends the Patagonia Great Divider or the Fishpond Cutbank Gear Bag.
Bring a hat with a good brim for sun protection, and a warmer stocking hat for cold days (which can occur anytime during the season.)
Nippers, flat jaw hemostats, a hook file, fly floatant, and a measuring tape are essential to carry on any fishing trip.
Good quality polarized sunglasses are a must, both for seeing fish and for safety. Brown, amber and copper are the best lens colors. Smith and Costa make excellent fly fishing sunglasses, and even offer prescription options. Bring a spare pair!
Camera & Camera Protection:
Waterproof or splash-proof 35mm pocket cameras are handy. Canon or Nikon digital SLR cameras with a good zoom lens (28 – 80) are the best. Almost all camera battery chargers these days can accommodate a 100 – 240 volt range.
Headlamps are great for late night gear fiddling and trips to the loo. We prefer ones with LED lights and that can be recharged.
The summer weather in Chile Patagonia is generally pleasant. Average temperatures range between the low 50’s and mid 80’s. Though usually not hot, the ultra-violet rays of the sun in this part of the world are very intense and will burn even the most sun-seasoned anglers. Wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and frequent use of a strong sun block (SPF 30 UVA/UVB+) are highly recommended. Sun gloves will save the backs of your hands.
Non-angling guests should be prepared for a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking, horseback riding, visits to neighboring working farms, local artisans, carriage rides, birding and photography are some of the activities available. Non-angling guests should bring good raingear (jacket and pants) hiking boots, a warm fleece, camera, binoculars, daypack, and a good sun hat.
Equestrian Program Guests:
Saddles and tack are provided but we suggest all riders bring their own: Helmet / Boots / Chaps / Gloves / Wet weather gear. There is an extra $100/person/day charge to cover the cost of an English-speaking riding guide.
El Saltamontes has Wi-Fi available for clients – via Starlink – who would like to bring their own Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices. It is more than adequate for sending and receiving emails.
Electricity in Chile is 220 volts Most modern day chargers are designed to function with 120 – 220 volts. You will need a universal plug adapter, one that will function with one of the outlets below.
Cellular Telephone Service:
If your cellular service is with AT&T and you purchase an international plan – T-Mobile sim card – it works well at El Saltamontes.
Gratuities are a personal decision based on service rendered. Normally, guides and staff are tipped upon departure in accordance to their individual effort and service. In most cases we like to leave a cash gratuity with the camp or lodge manager. A good rule of thumb for figuring an amount to leave is 10% – 15% of the package cost. If you have any questions concerning gratuities, please feel free to call us, or ask the lodge/camp manager or host for guidelines.
Alcohol at the Lodge:
Please note that while there is an open bar at the lodge, they have a very limited selection of American-label spirits, as these are hard to find down there. If you have specific brand preferences or consume a lot of spirits, you should consider bringing your own.